Tagged in: doctors

LaMarcus Aldridge cleared after heart concerns, re-signing with Brooklyn Nets

After retiring with heart concerns five months ago, seven-time All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is returning to the Brooklyn Nets on a one-year, $2.6 million deal, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Friday.

Aldridge, 36, has been medically cleared by a number of doctors — including those both independent and Nets-affiliated — to make a return for his 16th season, Schwartz told ESPN.

“I retired in April based on what I believed was the wisest precautionary decision for my personal health at the time, but further testing and evaluation by several top physicians has convinced the doctors, myself and the Nets that I’m fully cleared and able to return to the rigors of the NBA,” Aldridge told ESPN in a statement.

“I loved my brief time with Brooklyn and am excited to rejoin the team in pursuit of a championship.”

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The Nets have a deep rotation of former All-Star frontcourt players, involving Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap.

ESPN reported Aug. 4 that Aldridge was considering a comeback, and his conversations on a return centered largely on the Nets. Aldridge played five matches with Brooklyn last season after agreeing to a contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

Aldridge experienced an irregular heartbeat during a game versus the Los Angeles Lakers in April, and that soon led to a decision to announce his retirement.

“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first,” Aldridge wrote on Twitter at the time. “And now, it is time to put my health and family first.”

Aldridge signed with the Nets on March 28 after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs, with whom he had spent the previous 5½ seasons. He played the first nine years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He has averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his career.

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New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley takes next step in recovery, completes first contact practice

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Kenny Golladay participated in a padded practice Thursday, and Barkley took some contact seemingly without incident for the first time since tearing the ACL in his right knee 11 months ago.

It was the latest step in Barkley’s progression and a mandatory one before he gets into a match, according to coach Joe Judge. The Giants open the campaign Sept. 12 versus the Denver Broncos.

“We did a normal practice safely, and just talked to the guys and [they] gave me some good shots,” Barkley said afterward. “But it’s [about] route running and running routes just to get me back in the flow of things, so I guess you could say yes [I took my first hit].

“But [Thursday] felt good at practice and practicing with everyone on the team. Think that was definitely needed. Just grateful to be out there and just getting ready for the season.”

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Barkley will have to get through another fully padded practice next week before likely getting cleared by doctors.

The Giants don’t practice again until Monday.

Barkley is trending in the right direction and has a strong chance to play Week 1 versus Denver, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. There is optimism, but the Giants have been cautious and still could hold him back. It will ultimately be a team-driven decision.

“This whole process I’ve been a team player listening to the doctors, listening to the coaches, listening to the trainers, knowing that they have my best interest at heart,” Barkley said. “Whatever they feel that is best for me and best for the team, I’m willing to do.”

Barkley was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 9. He worked his way into live drills for the first time last week during joint practices with the New England Patriots while wearing a red no-contact jersey.

On Thursday, he shed the red jersey for the first time in live drills. Did he feel like his old self out on the field?

“I guess. I feel good. Taking it one day at a time,” Barkley said. “I’m just not even trying to think about do I look like my old self. I’m a very confident player. I know whenever I’m able to get back out there — maybe it might be one quarter, maybe it might be one play — whatever the opportunity is, when I’m back out there, I know I’m going to be able to go out there and be who I am and play how I am.

“Right now, I’m not focusing on if I’m making cuts, saying, ‘Is that how it was before?’ I’m focusing on getting in football shape, just living in the moment, enjoying the moment and playing football again.”

There isn’t much time left. The Giants have 10 days and just four practices before their season opener. Only one is expected to be with full pads. Getting through that would help Barkley inch nearer to being ready for Week 1.

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Indianapolis Colts’ Carson Wentz to have foot surgery, out 5-12 weeks, coach Frank Reich says

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz had surgery Monday on his injured left foot and be sidelined approximately five to 12 weeks, coach Frank Reich said.

Reich said it’s an old injury, possibly from high school, and a broken bone came loose in Wentz’s foot. Wentz felt a “twinge in his foot” when he rolled out and planted to throw late in Thursday’s practice, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady stated Friday.

The Colts met with multiple doctors to see what the best recovery process was.

All the parties involved agreed surgery was the way to go to remove the bone out of the fifth metatarsal of Wentz’s foot and ensure the injury didn’t return.

“I think it was a gut punch for him for about two hours,” Reich said. Reich said the reason for the wide recovery timetable is because players recover at different ranges.

The team will possibly have a better understanding on Wentz’s return once he starts the rehabilitation process between the two to four week range. The first two weeks after the surgery will be mainly rest.

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“Knowing Carson, I’m optimistic,” Reich said. “Knowing this is the type of injury you don’t have to be pain-free to play in. You have to get to an acceptable level of tolerating pain and then you can start playing. That could happen early.”

Dr. David Porter, an orthopedic foot specialist who works with the Colts, performed the surgery Monday in Indianapolis, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Colts gave up a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional second-round pick (which could become a first-rounder if Wentz either plays at least 75% of the Colts’ offensive snaps or plays 70% of the snaps and the Colts reach the playoffs) in the 2022 draft to get Wentz.

Wentz was benched in favor of Jalen Hurts with the Eagles last season after being sacked 50 times and throwing 15 interceptions in 12 matches.

Injuries have been part of Wentz’s first five years in the NFL. He suffered a season-ending torn ACL late in the 2017 season. He has played a full season just twice in his career.

The schedule doesn’t do the Colts in any favors. The Colts’ first five games of the regular season are versus teams — the Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens — that went a combined 54-26 last season, with four of them making the playoffs.

The Colts, despite knowing Wentz’s injury history, lack experience at quarterback. Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger, Jalen Morton and Brett Hundley, whom the Colts signed Saturday, are the other quarterbacks on the roster.

Hundley is the only one of the four who has attempted an NFL pass. Eason, a fourth-round pick in 2020, will continue to receive first-team reps in practice and have an opportunity to start the regular season if Wentz is still sidelined.

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